First and foremost, our thoughts this week are very much with Freddy Tylicki, Jim Crowley and their families after both jockeys were taken to hospital following a horrific incident in the maiden at Kempton on Monday, in which our runner, Cutty Sark, finished second. Both Freddy and Jim have ridden for us this year, with Freddy successful on Very Dashing at Nottingham in July, and we hope and pray that they are ok (Jim’s discharge from hospital on Monday night suggests he has been extremely lucky). These sorts of things, thankfully, are very rare in Flat racing but they highlight just how dangerous any horse sport can be, whether it is in competitive action or on the gallops at home.
While racing can seem rather trivial after such an incident, things inevitably must go on, and we were very pleased to see Bess of Hardwick win the Listed 32Red EBF Stallions River Eden Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield last Thursday. The Duke of Devonshire has had to be patient as Bess of Hardwick was unraced at two and ran only twice last year. However, she has repaid that patience with two more wins in 2016, following up from her Doncaster handicap win, and being upped in grade at Lingfield. She did race freely for the first part of the race, but that had a lot to do with the pace being slowed to a hack, so she did very well to come from where she did to win and, once again, showing a fantastic attitude in the closing stages. Adam Kirby gave the eventual runner up, Dogma, a very astute ride, kicking on at just the right time, so it was to Bess of Hardwick’s credit that she was the only horse able to run the French raider down and, in the process, having no trouble with the step up in trip to 13 furlongs. Credit must also go to Andrea Atzeni, as Bess of Hardwick takes a bit of knowing, and he has now won on both occasions that he has ridden the filly, and she is also undefeated in two outings on the all-weather. Hopefully they can complete the hat-trick if running against colts and geldings in the Listed Wild Flower Stakes over a mile and a half at Kempton on Wednesday 23rd November.
Our other runners since the last update were both owned by Dahab Racing, Polly Glide who made an encouraging debut when finishing mid-field in a maiden at Newmarket and Chocolate Box who finished third of five on his nursery debut at Newcastle. Both will be better over further in time. We did not discuss El Vip’s win in detail last week, so following on from that, we were delighted with his performance and, with the good foundations he has laid this year, we are very hopeful he will be an even better horse in 2017. He has earned a new mark of 94 and we hope he can progress to being better than a handicapper in time. We may stick to a mile for his reappearance next season before going back up to a mile and a quarter. He is an easy horse to deal with at home and has always shown us plenty of ability so let’s hope he continues to progress over the winter.
We run three two year olds on Wednesday, including Kitty Boo and So Sleek in separate divisions of the mile fillies’ maiden at Kempton. Kitty Boo fared best of the pair on their respective debuts when second over seven furlongs at the same track and is probably still sharper than So Sleek at this stage, which is perhaps no surprise considering Kitty Boo is by Invincible Spirit. Kitty Boo’s seven week absence will not be an issue, as we always knew she would have just one more race after her debut, so it was just a case of waiting for the right one to come along. So Sleek has unfortunately drawn a wide stall, while Timeform ratings also suggest she has more on her plate than Kitty Boo, she should improve for the step up to a mile. Both are potentially nice fillies for 2017. Medicean Dream will need to step up from his debut at Yarmouth if he is to feature in the finish of the first division of the mile maiden at Nottingham. On Saturday, we have both Tiptree and Materialistic entered for the Listed Betfred TV EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Gillies Fillies’ Stakes over a mile and a quarter at Doncaster and ground conditions will dictate which filly runs, with the former preferring a bit of cut and the latter requiring a sounder surface.
Finally, we had several good results at the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sales last week, topped by Laurence (pictured) selling for 200,000 guineas to Prince Sultan bin Mohammed. He will now continue his career in Dubai, while Diamond Geyser and Archery Peak, despite being sold to different buyers, are set to join Matt Cumani’s string in Australia. Shakopee, who unfortunately failed to make his reserve, will also join Matt, and the trio will be joined on the journey Down Under by Wolverhampton winner Van Dyke whom Matt purchased from the Hughie Morrison yard at the sale. We were less happy to lose Bermondsey for 22,000 guineas and Party Nights for 19,000 guineas but that is the chance you take when selling at auction, and we wish the best of luck to all the new owners of the horses purchased from Bedford House Stables.